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The Senate confirms that Cecilia Rouse is the first black president of the White House economic council.

The Senate voted on Tuesday to confirm Cecilia Rouse, a Princeton University economist, as President of President Biden’s Council of Economic Advisers, making her the first black leader of the CEA in its 75-year history.

The final vote was 95 to 4.

Dr Rouse is the dean of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, and a former board member under President Barack Obama. His academic research has focused on education, discrimination, and the forces that hold some people back in the US economy. She won praise from Republicans and Democrats at her confirmation hearing, with Senators on the Banking Committee voting unanimously to send her nomination to the full Senate.

She will assume her post amid an ongoing economic and public health crisis created by the coronavirus pandemic and in the final days of debate in Congress over a $ 1.9 trillion economic aid package Mr Biden has made it its first major legislative priority.

But in interviews and in her testimony, Dr. Rouse made it clear that she sees a broader set of priorities as President of CAOT: overhauling the internal workings of the federal government to promote fairness. racial and gender in the economy.

“As deeply distressing as this pandemic and its economic fallout have been,” she said during her hearing, “it is also an opportunity to rebuild the economy better than it was before – by making it work for everyone by increasing the availability of satisfying jobs and quitting. no one is in danger of falling through the cracks. “

One of her initiatives as chair of the board will be to audit the way the government collects and reports economic data, in order to disaggregate it by race, sex and other demographic variables with the aim of improving the government’s ability to target economic policies on helping historically disadvantaged groups.

“We want to design policies that will be economically efficient,” Dr Rouse said in an interview this year. When asked how she would judge effectiveness, she replied, “It’s keeping an eye on this bullet and asking ourselves, every time we look at a policy, what are the racial and ethnic impacts?

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For aggrieved Trump supporters, impeachment confirms everything

One evening this month, as Ashley Klein was getting ready for bed and browsing Facebook, she came across an impeachment story. She thought it was old news from 2019 that had popped up somehow, until she saw it was earlier today.

“Then I Googled it and I was like, ‘You must be kidding me. Really? It doesn’t happen, ”she said. “The American people need it so badly and we will once again be spending millions on impeachment.”

To much of the American public, and for the historical record, the second indictment of former President Donald J. Trump represented a meteoric censorship by an equal branch of government whose members’ lives had been put on the line. in peril a few days earlier by a crowd of his supporters attacking the Capitol. .

But for many of its supporters, the second indictment, a first for an American president, was something else: the culmination of years of unfair treatment by a Washington establishment that has historically been hostile to Mr. Trump and tries now to end his political career once. and for all. Republican senators voted by an overwhelming majority on Tuesday against his judgment for “incitement to insurgency”, a strong sign that the Senate did not have the votes to condemn him; the impeachment trial and conviction vote are expected to take place in February.

The rally behind Mr Trump serves as a powerful reminder of the enduring influence of the former president and his grievance-fueled politics, still inescapable in a country where a new leader has taken control, a pandemic rages and reality meddles with lies and conspiracy theories. .

Now Mr. Trump’s supporters whose blood boiled on the first indictment are galvanized again by the second, standing up in his defense with the familiar refrains they’ve absorbed for years from conservative talking heads, social media or the president himself. Cries of a witch hunt and orders “stop the flight”. Calling opponents “radical left democrats” and the media “fake news”. Repeating the campaign slogan “Keep America Great” as hundreds of thousands of people have died from the coronavirus and the economy has plummeted.

John Duty was thinking about all of this one recent morning in Washington as a bright pink sun rose above the Capitol a few days before the inauguration. He stood in the middle of Constitution Avenue, held up his iPhone, and framed his 9-year-old daughter in the foreground.

Mr Duty had come from Manassas, Va. So his daughter could witness a bit of history as the building welcomed the era of a new president he wasn’t entirely sure about. to have won the vote legitimately. He denounced the rioters who burst inside as adrenaline-pumped “knuckleheads” who had done the wrong thing.

But for Mr Duty, something seemed to be wrong with the fact that his chairman, the one he had voted for, was undergoing another impeachment process, and shortly after the events in question. For him, impeachment was another heavy blow Mr. Trump took from his critics during a tenure full of relentless punches from Democrats.

“For the past four years, they’ve bombed it,” Duty said. “Just attack him and attack him.”

For many people, their defense of the former president can boil down to a feeling they have deep in their guts telling them that Mr. Trump has never really been shaken.

Or, as Mr. Duty put it, “It just doesn’t feel right to me.”

As impeachment debate boils against the backdrop of a fledgling Biden presidency, the country finds itself in the midst of a struggle over whether to turn the page on division or tackle a need of responsibility.

Arguments over the impeachment of the last president dominated the early days of the new president’s tenure, which was ushered in by thousands of rifle-armed soldiers patrolling the Capitol, White House, downtown Dunkin ‘Donuts and the 7-Eleven.

For some Mr. Trump supporters, the fact that such a shocking crowd had gathered behind him on Capitol Hill was the logical outcome of the past four years.

“They were after him from the start,” said a man who would only give his first name, Adam, for fear his words would be distorted by a reporter.

It was inauguration day and he was standing a few blocks from the Capitol, not far from where he had stood on the day the rioters broke inside. The man, a 29-year-old construction worker from Harpers Ferry, Va., Had not joined them, he said, but he believed the action was warranted, and not just on behalf of Mr. Trump .

“I felt that our country needed to defend itself,” he said. “The people had a free and fair election which was stolen.”

Now, he said, continuing the impeachment process is just an attempt to keep the nation divided.

“They are bad losers,” he added, referring to Democrats, “and also bad winners.”

In the post-Trump era, defending the former president has become a necessity to defend Trumpism itself. House Republicans who voted to impeach Mr. Trump are already under pressure, with a backlash in their home states and challengers announcing campaigns to try to oust them.

The apparent injustice of all this has spread to Ms. Klein, 32, who lives in the Mille Lacs Lake area of ​​Minnesota. She reflects on this as she does her job as a horse trainer, rearing stallions on command and miniature horses spinning in circles. It seemed Democrats had come looking for Mr. Trump from the time he was sworn in, she said.

To her, they were angry that he said what he was thinking.

“I just prefer it to be blunt and not cover it in sugar,” she said.

They were unhappy not to compromise when he took office.

“Democrats have been in control for a long time, and giving up on that and shutting down their little cash cow accounts wasn’t making them happy,” Ms. Klein said.

They didn’t like his America first mantra.

“You could tell right away when people started to get patriotic, they didn’t like it to happen,” she said.

And then, in 2019, Democrats started talking about impeaching Mr. Trump for illegally asking Ukrainian authorities to influence the 2020 US presidential election. To her, that seemed absurd.

Ms. Klein joined a Facebook group called The People Against Impeachment. The Posts denounced the process, calling it “a political weapon” and insisting that a plan to impeach Mr. Trump was in place before he even reached the White House. Ms Klein listened to Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, Fox News personalities Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, and Newsmax, a conservative news network.

She was glued to television in December 2019 during this first indictment. She thought it was a sham, with Democrats concocting various accusations that they had dreamed of for years.

“Can you imagine as a citizen being charged with something and then finding out that you are not guilty of this crime, then they’re going to charge you with another crime, but they don’t have enough evidence, so? they accuse you with another crime? she said. “It’s crazy. I felt bad for the guy.

A few months later, the pandemic struck but, she said, it was not Mr Trump’s fault.

As the virus escalated, Ms Klein began to question whether the cries of shutting down the economy could be attempts by Democrats to further harm Mr Trump. She’s had enough.

By the time polling day arrived in November, Ms Klein was confident when she walked in to vote at her local courthouse that Mr Trump would win. She stayed up late to watch the election results. Then, as more and more mail-in ballots were counted over the next few days, the tally shifted to President Biden. She couldn’t believe it.

“All of a sudden, out of nowhere, all of these states started going for Biden when Trump was ahead for hours and hours and hours,” she said. “Nancy Pelosi was so confident he wasn’t going to win. I just felt like there was something fishy.

By the time the race was on for Mr Biden, Ms Klein was certain some sort of fraud had occurred, likely with the votes cast by mail.

She joined a chorus of other Trump supporters who were convinced the vote was fraudulent. One, Chad Kent Smith, 48, a drug addict and recovered preacher from Festus, Missouri, who posts inspiring videos online from behind the wheel of his tow truck, said he just couldn’t get himself rid of the feeling that Mr. Trump was the winner.

“I grew up in Alabama in the south. For a Democrat, winning these states makes me scratch my head, ”Mr. Smith said. “I don’t think the Democrats stole the election, but I think there was a tampering.”

In the weeks following the election call, supporters of Mr. Trump faced further unwarranted clashes.

Even Macaulay Culkin seemed to pile up. Ms. Klein was outraged when she saw that the actor appeared to endorse the idea put forward by Mr. Trump’s critics of setting up a scene in “Home Alone 2” where he plays a cameo role.

And with deaths from the coronavirus well over 400,000, Ms Klein said she couldn’t believe Mr Trump had not received enough credit for Operation Warp Speed. After all, she said, he had helped produce a vaccine in record time.

“If he had done anything wrong in his presidency that was absolutely horrible, I could see it,” Ms. Klein said. “But he was treated very unfairly for a guy who would have made a lot more money not being president.”

“I think,” Ms. Klein said, looking ahead, “that I would vote for him again.

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Video: Senate confirms Yellen as Treasury secretary

new video loaded: Senate confirms Yellen as Treasury secretary

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Senate confirms Yellen as Treasury secretary

Janet L. Yellen became the first woman to be Secretary of the Treasury, by a vote of 84-15. Her confirmation came as the Biden administration works to revive an economy battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Of course, Janet Yellen is best known for its chairman, chairman, for her tenure as chairman of the Federal Reserve, overseeing a period of falling unemployment and steady economic recovery after the global financial crisis. Few have the experience and expertise that Ms. Yellen would bring to the Treasury, especially at this time of economic crisis. “Dr. Yellen left the committee unanimously and will get to work five days after the inauguration. It is certainly not because the economic policy views of Dr. Yellen or President Biden have unanimous support here in the Senate. I think we will not miss some lively political discussions with Mr Yellen in the months to come. But the simple fact is that when the American people elect a president, and the president selects qualified and ordinary people for key positions, the whole nation deserves for them to be able to put together their team. “Madam President, it is a pleasure tonight to point out that Janet Yellen, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, will be the next Secretary of the Treasury. The Senate can make a particularly important economic judgment. Confirm Janet Yellen a fifth time. “” The yeses are 84, the nays are 15, and the confirmation is confirmed. The appointment is confirmed. “

Recent episodes of United States and politics

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Senate confirms Yellen as Treasury secretary as stimulus talks loom

WASHINGTON – The Senate on Monday confirmed Janet L. Yellen, labor economist and former Federal Reserve chairwoman, as Treasury secretary, setting up a key lieutenant for President Biden at a perilous economic time, as the new administration is trying to revive an economy that has been battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

By a vote of 84-15, the Senate confirmed Ms Yellen, making her the first woman to hold the highest office in the Treasury in her 232-year history. Her quick bipartisan confirmation underscored the support she has from Republicans and Democrats given her previous stint as Fed chair from 2014 to 2018.

Ms. Yellen now faces a formidable new challenge. As Secretary of the Treasury, she will be responsible for helping Mr Biden prepare the $ 1.9 trillion stimulus package he has proposed, lead it through Congress and – if approved. – overseeing the deployment of trillions of dollars in relief funds.

The scale of the task became clear over the weekend, as a bipartisan group of senators virtually met with senior White House officials on Sunday and expressed doubt that such a package was needed.

Lawmakers on both sides have raised the possibility of scaling back some elements of the proposal, including eligibility for a series of suggested checks of $ 1,400 to individuals and ensuring a more targeted distribution of the additional aid, according to several people close to the discussion. They also asked the White House to provide data that would justify the proposed spending, which includes $ 350 billion in state and local aid and $ 130 billion to reopen schools closed by the pandemic.

Now Ms Yellen will be pushed into the middle of the talks tasked with convincing many Republicans and some Democrats that the economy needs another multibillion-dollar spending program. In her confirmation hearing and in her written responses to lawmakers, Ms. Yellen echoed Mr. Biden’s view that Congress must “ act big ” to prevent the economy from healing in the long run and has defended the use of the borrowed money to finance another aid program, claiming not to do so. would leave workers and families worse off.

“The relief bill at the end of last year was just a down payment to get us through the next few months,” Ms. Yellen said. “We have a long way to go before our economy recovers completely.”

Ms. Yellen also argued that “short-term budget support is not incompatible with long-term fiscal sustainability,” explaining that a healthier economy would ultimately generate more revenue for the government.

The Biden administration has said it hopes a package can gain bipartisan support in Congress. However, Democrats have signaled a willingness to turn to a budget mechanism known as reconciliation that would allow them to pass legislation by a simple majority and bypass the usual 60 vote threshold required.

David Wessel, a senior researcher at the Brookings Institution, where Yellen recently worked, said she will likely play a key role in working with Congress given her credibility with Republicans and progressive Democrats. He suggested that, because of Mr Biden’s long history in the Senate, Ms Yellen might be less involved in haggling with lawmakers and deployed to make economic arguments for certain policies.

“I think they will use it as an asset when they need an expert,” Wessel said. “Especially if some people need to be convinced of something.”

While she won the support of many Republicans, several voted against her confirmation, including Republican Senator Dan Sullivan of Alaska. Mr. Sullivan told the Senate that he voted against Ms. Yellen because she refused to commit to “all of the above” energy policy, including natural gas and oil. Ms. Yellen has made tackling climate change and creating clean energy incentives a priority at the Treasury.

“In fact, I found it shocking,” said Mr Sullivan, pointing out that he made the decision to vote against Ms Yellen’s confirmation reluctantly given her strong qualifications.

In addition to negotiating with lawmakers, Ms. Yellen will have the responsibility of being America’s top economic diplomat at a time of frayed global tensions. Ms. Yellen will have to try to mend U.S. economic relations around the world, including with allies like Canada, Mexico and the European Union, which have become strained under President Donald J. Trump.

These relations will be crucial given the Biden administration’s plan to try to combat what Ms. Yellen called China’s “illegal, unfair and abusive” economic practices by bringing together allies to pressure Beijing.

During her confirmation hearing, Yellen said China “engages in practices that give it an unfair technological advantage” and said the administration is ready to use “the full range of tools” of states. United to remedy it. One of his first challenges will be to review the trade deal Mr. Trump struck with Beijing, including China’s failure to meet its commitments, and determine whether the United States should maintain the tariffs. over 360 billion dollars of Chinese products.

Longer term, Ms Yellen plans to help implement Mr Biden’s tax proposals, which include higher corporate taxes and tax increases for the wealthy.

Ms. Yellen plans to make other big changes to the Treasury Department’s mission, including using its powers to help assess the economic risks of climate change and create incentives to support clean energy technologies. It will also focus on promoting policies that reduce racial inequalities.

“It is the responsibility of the Secretary of the Treasury to strengthen the United States economy, foster widespread economic prosperity, and promote an economic agenda that leads to long-term economic growth,” Ms. Yellen said in a written response to lawmakers published Thursday.

Ms Yellen will be under pressure to quickly staff a Treasury department that had been depleted under her predecessor, Steven Mnuchin. Her deputy, Wally Adeyemo, will need confirmation from the Senate and Ms Yellen will need to select under-secretaries to be in charge of international affairs, sanctions and national finance.

Earlier this month, the Treasury Department announced a chief of staff, Didem Nisanci, and a team of senior advisers, many of whom served in the Obama administration, to work with Ms. Yellen. On Monday, the Treasury announced a new hiring list, including the appointment of Mark J. Mazur, a former senior Treasury official under the Obama administration, as deputy assistant secretary for tax policy in the legislative affairs office.

Emily cochrane contribution to reports.

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Senate confirms Austin in landmark vote, installs first black Secretary of Defense

WASHINGTON – The Senate on Friday confirmed Lloyd J. Austin III as Secretary of Defense, holding a national security critical post in President Biden’s cabinet and elevating the first black American in the country’s history to lead the Pentagon .

The 93-2 vote came a day after Congress quickly decided to grant retired four-star army general Mr. Austin a special waiver to fill the post, which is required for all Secretary of Defense who has not been active. military service in service for less than seven years. This reflected a bipartisan consensus on Capitol Hill that there was an urgent need for Mr. Biden to have his choice of Pentagon installed, a step normally taken on the first day of a new president.

“This is an extraordinary and historic moment,” said Senator Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island and incoming Chairman of the Armed Services Committee. “A significant portion of our armed forces today are African Americans or Latinos, and now they can see themselves at the top of the Department of Defense, which makes the notion of opportunity real.

Mr Austin, 67, is the only African-American to have led United States Central Command, the military’s flagship combat command responsible for Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and Syria. He retired in 2016 after 41 years in the military and is widely respected throughout the military.

As he takes the reins of the Pentagon, Mr. Austin will face many global and national threats at the same time, including an increasingly muscular China and an aggressive Russia, pandemics and a climate crisis, all at a time when the resources could decrease. He has vowed to tackle lingering issues of sexual assault and political extremism in the ranks that so many secretaries before him have denounced but have done little to quell. Civilian dominance of the military, the political cornerstone of the department since its inception, has been strained under the Trump administration with a commander-in-chief who sought to politicize his role until the very end of his term.

Shortly after his confirmation, Austin arrived at the Pentagon to meet with senior military officials, a Defense Department spokesperson said. He will receive a briefing on the department’s activities to combat the coronavirus pandemic and hold a call with Jens Stoltenberg, the secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, later on Friday, the spokesperson said. .

“It is an honor and a privilege to serve as our country’s 28th Secretary of Defense, and I am especially proud to be the first African American to hold this position,” said Mr. Austin. written on twitter. “Let’s get to work.”

At first, lawmakers on both sides were concerned about granting Mr. Austin an exception to the statutory ban on recently retired military personnel serving as Pentagon chiefs, a law intended to maintain civilian control. of the Army. They had already done it four years ago for Jim Mattis, first Secretary of Defense to President Donald J. Trump and retired four-star Navy officer, and many had sworn to themselves never to do so again.

But in the face of intense pressure from officials of Mr Biden’s transition team and the main Democrats, and after receiving assurances from Mr Austin that he was committed to the principles of civilian oversight, the majority of lawmakers have brushed aside their concerns and threw their support behind a barrier – the shining nominee.

Alaskan Republican Senator Dan Sullivan was among those pressuring his colleagues to make the exception. He said it was worth it, as Mr Biden had too few incoming senior officials who had already done their military service.

“I think that argument has convinced some of my colleagues,” said Mr. Sullivan, who shares a military history with Mr. Austin and introduced the retired general during his confirmation hearing.

“The person who confirmed Lloyd Austin,” Mr. Sullivan said, “was Lloyd Austin.”

Two Republicans, Senators Mike Lee of Utah and Josh Hawley of Missouri, voted against the confirmation. Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, supported him, but added a note of caution in Senate remarks.

“The Senate should pause and reflect on the fact that we will have started two consecutive presidential administrations by waiving a four-star general and former Centcom commander to lead the Pentagon,” McConnell said.

The vote was the first time since former President George Bush that a new president had not installed a Defense Secretary in the Pentagon on day one, a distinction Democratic leaders were keenly aware of when they rushed to confirm Mr. Austin. The Senate confirmed another key national security official, Avril D. Haines, as director of national intelligence on Wednesday, and Democrats hoped to confirm Antony Blinken as secretary of state as early as Friday afternoon.

Even though 43% of the 1.3 million active duty men and women in the United States are people of color, the leaders at the top of the military chain of command have remained remarkably white and masculine. When President Barack Obama chose Mr. Austin to lead central command, he became one of the highest ranked black men in the military, just behind Colin L. Powell, who had served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Representative Anthony G. Brown, Democrat of Maryland and retired Black Colonel in the Army Reserve, noted that the post of Secretary of Defense was created in 1947 – just nine months before President Harry S. Truman orders the desegregation of the armed forces.

“Secretary Austin’s confirmation is a historic first and symbolizes the culmination of the nearly 75-year march towards true integration of the department,” said Brown. “He is well positioned to build on his experiences as a seasoned military commander, respected leader and as a black man who grew up in apartheid to advance progress as the next Secretary of Defense.

Eric Schmitt contribution to reports.

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Electoral college vote officially confirms Biden’s victory

The president had also hoped that a slew of court cases, including a lengthy Supreme Court trial, would help force the hands of state legislatures. But in court case after court case, Mr Trump suffered a series of losses, often coupled with withering opinions denouncing the effort as baseless.

Under normal circumstances, Monday’s constituency sessions would be the last procedural vote of any significance. The next step in the process, a congressional vote validating the Electoral College’s results in early January, is a formality ruling out extraordinary circumstances, such as if a state sends competing voters lists.

But Mr. Trump, his aides and supporters, who sought to disrupt the technical aspects of formalizing Mr. Biden’s victory in a way that had never been done before, said as a last resort that they could also obtain congressional approval.

Speaking on “Fox & Friends” Monday morning, Senior White House adviser Stephen Miller said, “Another group of voters in the disputed states are going to vote, and we are going to send these results to Congress.” He said the lists “would ensure that all of our legal remedies remain open.”

Republicans in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nevada and Michigan have followed the White House’s lead, taking or discussing steps to form their own competing lists of pro-Trump voters – a theatrical effort that does not has no legal route. The Electoral College slates are tied to the winner of the popular vote, and for 2020 they are now officially certified.

Reporting was provided by Nicholas Fandos, Michael D. Shear, Reid J. Epstein, Kathleen Gray, Kay Nolan and Hank Stephenson.

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With California’s vote, Electoral College confirms Biden’s victory.

Joseph R. Biden Jr. was confirmed as president-elect on Monday as members of the Electoral College pushed him past the 270 threshold to win the White House, virtually ending a disruptive chapter in American history in which President Trump has sought to use the law political challenges and pressures to overturn free and fair election results.

The president-elect crossed the threshold after California cast its 55 votes for Mr Biden on Monday night, closing a day marked by increased security in battlefield states and an unusual level of control over what is normally a formal and procedural matter.

With Mr. Trump’s supporters promising to hold protests outside of certain states, officials have taken additional steps to keep voters safe. Michigan lawmakers, citing credible threats, closed the Capitol building to the public, as did Wisconsin, where Madison voters were ushered into a side entrance of the State Capitol for the midday vote.

Yet Monday’s votes went smoothly; no demonstration interrupted the proceedings. Indeed, in many battlefield states, the police presence was greater than that of the protesters, and the normally busy process led by the Electoral College went uninterrupted.

“It’s not just out of tradition, but to show people, especially now more than ever, that our system is working,” Gov. Chris Sununu, Republican Gov. of New Hampshire, said before voters in his state voted. all for Mr. Biden on Monday morning.

Monday’s vote officially sends Mr Biden to the White House, assuming the presidency after a grueling election marked by deep divisions and a devastating pandemic that has crippled the country and disrupted the vote. Mr Biden has been working aggressively to fill his cabinet to prepare for taking office in January, with the aim of having a team ready to tackle the coronavirus and begin the long recovery.

The president-elect is expected to speak tonight on the results of the electoral college.

The vote follows six weeks of unprecedented efforts by Mr. Trump to intervene in the electoral process and change the outcome of an election he lost by around seven million votes. He was joined by many Republicans who supported his unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud, including 126 party members and 17 state attorneys general who supported a Supreme Court case that legal experts said was baseless. The court dismissed the case on Friday.

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Georgia’s ballot tally confirms Biden victory

ATLANTA – The hand-recount of more than five million votes across the state of Georgia reaffirmed Thursday that President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. has been upset in a state that has long been seen as a Republican stronghold.

The results of the process were made public Thursday evening by Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office. President Trump’s campaign demanded a manual recount last week, and shortly thereafter Mr Raffensperger announced he would do so as part of a “risk-limiting audit.”

The audit concluded that the initial result remained “as originally announced”, according to a press release from Mr. Raffensperger’s office. Verified vote totals showed Mr. Biden defeated Mr. Trump by 12,284 votes, with Mr. Trump getting 1,872 net votes in the process.

The secretary of state’s office said that a manual count of each presidential vote cast was necessary to meet “the legally required confidence level for the audit.”

After the New York Times and other national media called out Georgia on behalf of Mr. Biden last week, Mr. Trump denigrated the electoral process in that country, making baseless accusations of fraud in connection with ‘a broader effort to undermine confidence in the presidential election. A Trump campaign fundraising email Thursday night called the Georgia audit a “joke.”

The Biden campaign released a statement on Thursday saying that the manual counting of the ballots “simply reaffirmed what we already knew: Georgian voters chose Joe Biden to be their next president.”

Although the result was something in advance, the audit took place against a backdrop of growing tension over the election outcome. Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, Republicans facing tough second-round races in Georgia, disparaged Raffensperger and accused him of mismanaging the election.

The audit found some significant hiccups, with four counties – Floyd, Fayette, Walton and Douglas – uncovering votes that were not part of the original tally. Mr. Trump led Floyd, Fayette and Walton counties; Mr. Biden won Douglas County.

The Floyd County Board of Elections on Thursday voted unanimously to fire its chief electoral secretary, Robert Brady, according to board member Dr. Melanie Conrad. Mr Brady was fired after authorities found 2,600 ballots that had not been counted before the county’s initial certification of the votes.

The newly uncovered ballots devoured Mr Biden’s head of state, which stood at 14,156 votes when the audit began. But most of the state’s 159 counties saw only minor changes in their tally, with updated vote totals differing by a single digit.

The state must certify the election results Friday at 5 p.m. The Trump campaign then has two business days to request an official recount due to Mr. Biden’s narrow margin of victory. This would be done with high speed scanners.

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Senate confirms Barrett, heeding Trump and reshaping the court

Yet she has previously criticized Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. for voting in favor of the Affordable Care Act, and she has already signed an ad calling for the overthrow of Roe v. Wade and his “barbaric heritage”. Chances are she will be among the court’s most conservative justices, likely to the right of Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh.

Like five other judges, Judge Barrett is Catholic; she said her faith was at the heart of her identity. But in other ways, it breaks the mold of the court. Former Notre-Dame, she will be the only judge not to have graduated from Harvard or Yale. She is also raising seven children, two of whom have been adopted.

After playing down its implications during the hearings, some Republicans openly celebrated his stance against abortion on Monday.

“The appointment of Amy Coney Barrett is truly historic,” said Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri. “He is the most openly pro-life judicial candidate for the Supreme Court of my life. It was one person who openly criticized this illegitimate decision, Roe v. Wade.

By the time senators met on Monday night for the final vote, many were exhausted from a debate that had run from Sunday night to Monday and back and forth between Washington and the election campaign.

But after Iowa Sen. Charles E. Grassley, the pro tempore president, read the tally, Republicans leapt from their desks and cheered. Only two did not join them.

One was Ms Collins, who left the room as soon as she voted ‘no’. She had formulated her decision this time on principle. Republicans set a standard in 2016 by not confirming a candidate in an election year and should do the same now, she argued. She is lagging behind in a race in a liberal-leaning state in part because of the fury of her constituents over her vote for Judge Kavanaugh, Mr. Trump’s last candidate.

The other was Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, another Republican, who sat face stone. She ultimately voted to confirm Judge Barrett, but said she feared the tribunal would be hit by the tribunal and the Senate would take with the public to proceed as voters vote.

Adam Liptak and Emily Cochrane contributed reporting.